inspired by wang xiaobo’s story, the marvelous pig
when I was born, a pig was embodied in my body. later it turns out that the pig was my soul.
In the village (where we were sent by Chairman Mao to be re-educated), I fed pigs, and grazed cattle. These two kinds of animals would have known completely how to live if there had been no human to manage their life. They would have strolled about at their will, drinking when thirsty and eating when hungry; and when spring came, they would have talked about love to each other. If so, their life would have been of poor quality, nothing exciting at all. Then the human came, who set rules for their life. As a result, every cow and every pig had a theme in their life. For the majority of them, the thematic life was miserable: the theme for the cattle was to shoulder the hard labor, and for the pig, to grow meat. I didn’t think they ought to complain about this, because life then for us was colorless, too. It didn’t leave us much to entertain ourselves except for eight model plays.
However, there were some very few pigs and cattle whose life was arranged for another purpose. Take the pig for example, the boars and sows were spared some freedom to do their own business besides eating. But for all I could see, they didn’t quite appreciate this set-up. The boar’s task was mating, in other words, he was allowed to be a Don Juan by our policy. But the exhausted boars acted as if they were castrated pigs kept for meat. Like a JunZi of high morals, they just wouldn’t jump onto the sows’ backs no matter how you threatened them. The sows’ task was reproducing, but some would eat their own kids. In a word, the pigs suffered tremendously. However, they accepted it: pigs were pigs.
It is the characteristic of humans to set various rules, not only for animals but for themselves as well. We all know there was a place called Sparta in ancient Greece, where man’s task was to be a sacrificial soldier, woman’s to be a reproduction machine; the former was like a fighting cock, and the latter a sow. Therefore, life there was so regulated that nothing was left but boredom. Our two animals were different cases, but I believe they didn’t like their life at all. But what could they do? Be it human or animal, both could hardly change their destiny.
The pig I’m going to talk about was special. He was four or five years old at the time when I was feeding pigs. Although he was kept for meat, he was dark and thin, with two glittering eyes. He was as quick as a goat and could jump the meter-high fence without trouble. He could even jump onto the roof of the pigsty, like a cat—so you would find him always wandering everywhere, never staying in the pigsty. All the intellectuals in the village who fed pigs treated him as their own spoiled child and so did I—because he was friendly to nobody but us the intellectuals. He’d allow us to get as close to him as within three meters; he would run away from other people. He was a boar and should have been castrated. But just go ahead, try to hide the castration hatchet behind your back and see if you can get him. He would instantly smell it, bulge his eyeballs at you and give a bellow. I always fed him with porridge made from rice chaff and would dump it into the weeds to feed other pigs after he’d had enough of it. Other pigs were jealous at seeing this and squealed. Then, the pig farm was filled with horrible howling as if ghosts were crying, which he and I didn’t give a damn about. Stuffed with food, he would jump onto the roof of the pigsty to bask in the sun or imitate all kinds of sounds. He could sound like a horn, like a car or a truck
Sometimes we couldn’t find him for a whole day. I assumed he’d gone to the village nearby to look for sows. We kept sows, too, but they were kept inside the pigsty and were out of shape from over-reproducing. They were dirty and stinky. He was not interested in them. There were handsome sows in the neighboring village. He had many romantic adventures there. However, I’m not going to tell you about them because I know little about it due to the short period I spent feeding pigs. All I can say is that all the intellectuals who fed pigs liked him. We were fond of his way of being independent. We even gave ourselves credit for his freestyle of living. But the villagers didn’t agree on this point. They considered the pig as cynical, and as for the leaders, they hated him, which I’ll talk about later. My fondness of him even extended to respect for him, because I always called him “Brother Pig” ignoring the truth that I was ten years or older than him. As I’ve already said, this Brother Pig could imitate any sound. I reckoned he’d tried to learn how to speak as a man, but failed—if not, we would have had a heart to heart conversation. But he was not the one to blame, to establish a rapport between man and pig was too different after all.
Later, Brother Pig learned how to wail like a whistle. This is what got him in trouble. We had a sugar factory and its whistle sounded every noon so that the workers would change shifts accordingly. Hearing the whistle, our group, which was working in the field at the same time, would wrap it up and come back home. My Brother Pig began to jump onto the roof at ten o’clock every morning and imitate the siren there. People working in the field came back as soon as they heard it. Boy! This was one and a half hours earlier than the factory required. To be frank, there wasn’t much for us to blame Brother Pig for, and his wailing was different from the whistle. But the villagers said they couldn’t tell the difference whatsoever. As a result, the top leaders had a meeting, in which they accused him of being an agitator who was intending to sabotage the spring plowing. What was worse, they decided to take action against him by means of persecution. Although I’d already known the meeting’s decision, I was not worried about him, for if they meant to use noose and hatchet [by means of dictatorship], it wouldn’t work on him at all. The former leaders had tried this, but even a hundred men were not able to catch him. Dogs were useless either: Brother pig ran like a torpedo and would have elbowed the dogs’ miles out of the way. But Good Heaven, this time they really meant it. The instructor brought with him about twenty men, holding five-four style pistols in their hands; the deputy instructor led a dozen of people or so, all carrying guns used to protect the harvest. They split into two groups, converging from two directions in the open-air of the pig farm to corner him. This really put me into a dilemma: in view of our friendship, I should have held two butcher hatchets and stood with Brother Pig side by side to fight a way out. But on second thoughts, I realized this would probably scare the shit out of the whole world—he was, after all, nobody but a pig; Another reason was that I didn’t have the guts to go against the leaders, which I suspect was where the problem really lay. So I just looked on. I had admiration for Brother Pig’s composure: he calmly stayed inside the circle formed by the pistols and guns. However much the people shouted or the dogs barked, he just wouldn’t step out of the circle. Therefore, the people who were to pull the triggers of their pistols would kill those holding the harvest protection guns, and vice versa; if both groups were to fire simultaneously, they would all be killed. As for him, safety was almost guaranteed, for as a target he was not big enough. Then, after testing a couple of times, he found an opportunity and forced a way out running away in an astonishingly cool manner.
I ran into him several times in the sugarcane field after that. He’d grown fangs. He recognized me, but wouldn’t allow me to get close to him. His coldness pained me. However, I agreed that he should keep a distance from those with malicious intentions.
I’m already forty years old. So far, but for this pig, I’ve never met anyone who dared to turn a blind eye to the rules imposed upon their life. On the contrary, I’ve only met people who try to set rules for other people’s lives, or who live contently with the rules imposed upon them. For this reason, I never stop commemorating this maverick pig
MR eichmann design version 1 and two,
small eyes, ears. big hands.
he has a pet pig, named tiny black, the pig is black, it looks like a sausage. the pig can run very fast.
pigs have a vertebra shape of c and it is not easy for him to stand.
my English national opera project is inspired by this idea.
the ox and horse across their stomachs are their animal nature. namely the violence and emotional part of human being. the human body is their personal and human nature. my core story is about how the satyagrahast and the police control their animal nature and try to act reasonably. so the India miner marched but they encountered the mounted police. then my story begins. unfortunately, the stuff did not get my story. well, it was because of my bad pitch. i was too nervous. maybe my idea is too sureal and it doent make sense.